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Short poem

James McIntyre (1827-1906)

Mrs. Moody

              1When this country it was woody,
              2Its great champion, Mrs. Moody,
              3She showed she had both pluck and push,
              4In her work, roughing in the bush.

              5For there all alone she will dwell,
              6At time McKenzie did rebel,
              7Outbreak her husband strove to quell --
              8Her own grand struggles she doth tell.

              9Round bush life she threw a glory,
            10Pioneer renowned in story;
            11But her tale it is more cheering
            12When she wrote about the clearing.

            13Her other sister, Mrs. Traill,
            14Though eighty-six, she doth not fail;
            15She now is writing of wild flowers
            16Grown in Canada's woody bowers.


1] "As we have given glances at various Canadian authors in this work, perhaps there is none more worthy than Mrs. Moody, whose vigorous pen was ever active in favor of Canada. She is a sister of the celebrated Agnes Strickland, author of `The Queens of England.' Mrs. Moody is enjoying reasonably fair health in Toronto. She was born in the beginning of the century." [poet's note]

2] Mrs. Moody: Susanna Moodie, who wrote Roughing it in the Bush (1852) and followed it with Life in the clearings versus the bush (1853). Her health may have been reasonably good in 1884 but she died on April 8, 1885.

6] McKenzie: William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861), the first major of Toronto, led a rebellion against the establishment that was defeated when, on December 7, 1837, loyalists routed the rebels at Montgomery's Tavern (The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2nd edn. [Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988]: 1271), now a museum at the corner of Dundas Street West and Islington Avenue in West Toronto.

13] "Mrs. Trail, also a celebrated champion of Canada, who is older even than her sister, Mrs. Moody. She livesnear Peterboro." [poet's note] Catharine Parr Traill (1802-99) published The Backwoods of Canada in 1836 but became a botanist of note afterwards with her Canadian Wildflowers (1868) and Studies of Plant Life in Canada (1885).

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: James McIntyre, Musings on the Banks of Canadian Thames, including poems on local, Canadian and British subjects, and lines on the great poets of England, Ireland, Scotland and America, with a glance at the wars in Victoria's reign (Ingersoll: H. Rowland, 1884): 52-53. B-11 1857 Fisher Rare Books Library.
First publication date: 1884
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/21

Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by James McIntyre